What We Are Organizing For

Reimagining democracy

Those who decide the public narrative of the week seem incapable of taking seriously the possibility of freshly envisioning interdependent, egalitarian, collective life, even in the face of the imperative of interdependent response to planetary disorders threatening everyone. This civic failure amounts to collusion with the many who today hold public office at the will of dominating private interests and have nothing but contempt for common wealth.

There is no shortage of individuals, groups, movements, and institutions engaged in “replenishing” the democratic imagination. Jeffrey Stout, one such individual, suggests that this needs doing on a daily basis (Blessed are the Organized, p. 288). Stout, and many others, tell story after story of ordinary people engaged in this work of political imagination as an essential part of their nuts and bolts work of grassroots democratic organizing. One such story concerned the concrete vision of the common good expressed by grassroots organizers in post-Katrina New Orleans. “A concrete vision,” notes Stout, “sounds like a mixed metaphor. What it means is vision linked to organized power. The story of that link, between egalitarian vision and power, is what is missing in the information flood drowning us, purveyed by attention merchants, lobbyists and public office holders. This blog, intended to help stretch our powers of reimagining our interdependent arrangements, is therefore linked to its companion blog reporting on organizing.  Both blogs are efforts to explore democratic responses to the question of planetary ownership, whose world is it?